Welcome to this limited-edition newsletter highlighting the important work of community colleges nationwide.
Community College Insights

Telling a better story about community colleges

Fall 2023
Welcome to this limited-edition newsletter highlighting the important work of community colleges nationwide. Each newsletter will feature a variety of topics of interest and resources, and we invite you to share feedback with Lumina Foundation.
Shauna Davis
Strategy Director for Participation
Mary Laphen Pope
Strategy Officer for Participation

How do the strategic plan, brand strategy, and marketing plan work together?

Insights from Noetic Consultants
A college's strategic plan guides all long-term and day-to-day institutional decisions, ensuring operations and priorities support the institution's mission, vision, and values. Brand strategy defines and sets the expectation for the experience people will have when engaging with the community college brand. And marketing strategy outlines the tactics of how and where the college will engage audiences to increase awareness and influence them to pursue the college.

A universal brand positioning statement

Insights from Noetic Consultants
The bedrock for brand strategy is a well-defined brand positioning statement, which follows a WHO-WHAT-HOW framework. A brand positioning statement is aspirational, authentic, forward-facing, grounded in truth, and easily digestible. It is an internal-facing statement that articulates a community college's core promise to the learner and expresses the competitive difference and value it provides. It is the foundation on which all marketing plans should be built.
When defining or refining brand positioning, a community college should ask themselves key fundamental questions:
  • Who is our target audience, and what do they need?
  • In what competitive company do we see ourselves?
  • What do students need to believe in us?
  • What tone do we need to take in the marketplace?

Join us for this episode of Inside Out: Community Colleges Far and Wide

Inside Out
We travel around the United States to take a closer look at what's interesting and innovative in learning beyond high school. We went far and wide to visit some amazing community colleges. We bet you've never thought about community colleges like this!
Next up, we're traveling to the US Territory of Guam to visit Guam Community College.

What happens when a system takes on the Challenge?

The Million Dollar Community College Challenge
When we launched The Million Dollar Community College Challenge in February of 2022, we were intentional about focusing on individual colleges. Our goal was simple, to provide an opportunity for colleges across the country to be a part of energizing the field around the issue of improving community college brands AND getting resources directly into the hands of colleges to do the work. As we went through the process, we heard from college systems and state associations who were also interested in working together to advance brand awareness and deepen the outreach and connection with residents of their college communities. So, in July of 2023, we provided a million-dollar grant to The Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS).

College identity and building community

Nestled in Great Falls, Montana, the college is surrounded by natural beauty — and by another college that once shared a similar name. Having undergone several name changes over the years, Great Falls College was seeking to help its community recognize its brand and create excitement around what the college offers.

Enter the home of the River Otters.

Student Center
A trend happening at colleges and universities is reimagining the college library as central to not only academic research and studying but also as a hub for support services, wellness and community building. Students want spaces that respond to the complexity of their needs and colleges are rethinking how to engage students and integrate spaces and services to increase student usage. Is your college reimagining how to use learning spaces?

Technical assistance

Lumina offers technical assistance opportunities for community colleges interested in telling a better brand story.

Thank you to everyone who attended the Website Workshops and special five-part Marketing Academy. We hope you have found these opportunities beneficial and are using what you've learned to support your college's goals.

For those who missed the Website Workshops, you can find those recordings and resources listed on The Million Dollar Community College Challenge webpage

Stay tuned for future announcements of technical assistance opportunities coming this fall.

More Information

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Have a question about the topics discussed, an idea to share with Lumina Foundation, or feedback on our work? We would love to hear from you. Simply send us an email and we will be sure to follow up. Reach us at: challenge@luminafoundation.org
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